In 2017, northeastern states including Rhode Island were hit with tropical storm Philippe, which damaged many areas in New England and throughout the state. The storm reached wind gusts of over 70 miles per hour, resulting in fallen power lines and other structural damage. Combined with the heavy rain, there was minor flooding in certain areas, which damaged properties and businesses in multiple communities. Nearly 150,000 people were without power for the entirety of the storm and days after, as well as lots of structural damage to homes located where the storm hit hardest.
Rhode Island Hurricane Insurance Coverage
In the state of Rhode Island, homeowners are often insured for hurricane damage as part of their homeowners insurance. For those who have that coverage, the yearly deductible for hurricane coverage is not allowed to exceed 5% of the home’s insured value. Insurance companies may choose to set their yearly deductible at the 5% mark, or charge a flat deductible rate, but both are not allowed to exceed that threshold.
To qualify for coverage following a hurricane, the deductible must be met after a hurricane warning is distributed by the National Weather Service. Insurance companies must post a detailed explanation of how the hurricane deductible and coverage works. Additionally, they are required to only apply the yearly deductible once a year, even if more than one hurricane damages a specific policyholder’s property within that same year.
Most insurance companies require you to submit a claim as soon as possible following a hurricane, which will trigger the insurance company accepting and paying out for claims to help homeowners rebuild.
Bad Faith Insurance Claims for First-Party Claimants
Much like many other states, Rhode Island requires insurance providers to follow a set of expectations when responding to and reviewing claims submitted. By law, insurance providers are required to handle claims in good faith: this means that they must respond to claims in a reasonable amount of time, and provide detailed explanation for why a claim may be denied. Additionally, they are required to maintain regular communication with the claimant following a claims submission, and pay out any accepted claims coverage in a specified amount of time.
If an insurance provider refuses to follow these regulations, it is best to get an insurance lawyer involved immediately. Providers that do not meet these expectations are acting unlawfully, and can be subjected to legal action. Working with an insurance attorney, you can work towards getting the coverage you deserve.
The law offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A., have expert Rhode Island insurance lawyers available to assist you through any legal proceedings following a bad faith claim experience. These insurance lawyers are knowledgeable about Rhode Island insurance law, and support you throughout this process.